You cannot have a effective website without these key ingredients

You cannot have a effective website without these key ingredients

You cannot have a effective website without these key ingredients

THE TAKEAWAY

AN EFFECTIVE WEBSITE HAS KEY INGREDIENTS
QUALITY HOSTING
KEEP IT SIMPLE AND QUICK
ON PAGE SEO FOR YOUR WEBSITE
QUALITY CONTENT
UPDATE YOUR SITE REGULARLY
YOUR WEBSITE HAS TO BE RESPONSIVE
USE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
CONCLUSION

DO YOU HAVE AN EFFECTIVE WEBSITE ?

In my last article, I mentioned the importance of having a website and how combined with your social media, can help drive more business your direction. But is your website effective ? does it have the right tools to capture more leads ? Is it capable of attracting new traffic ? Has it got strategically placed Call-to-Actions ? Does it function correctly giving your users a smoother experience ?  Has it all the necessary means to be a successful website ?

AN EFFECTIVE WEBSITE HAS CERTAIN KEY INGREDIENTS

There are certain criteria you need on your website to make it effective for your business. Certain guidelines to follow or else your website can fail spectacularly, rather like my visit to a dog park and letting my two young 3 year old Labradors (the closet thing to meth labs you will find ! ) loose without a lead. Chaos will eventually ensue and it will end up a complete disaster. Fear not ! If you implement the following guidelines on your website, believe me you will start to notice improvements within a few weeks.

quality hosting improves a websites performance

QUALITY HOSTING

Quality hosting is your first priority. A vital factor of web hosting is definitely the amount of bandwidth and disk space provided by the servers. For your website to run efficiently, it needs a decent amount of space on the server to function smoothly. Competition between hosting companies is intense and as a result, offer cheap packages on shared servers to entice you to sign up.

The ONLY advantage is the cheap price with a shared server ! A shared server is entry level for basic websites, therefore the resources are limited in terms of space and features. If another website on a shared server has a spike in traffic, it sucks up all the allocated space/bandwidth, putting pressure on the server slowing your site down to a crawl. A slow website will be penalised by Google. It will also frustrate your users causing them to abandon your site which can cost you money.

As well as restricting space, shared servers restrict software versions. For example some shared servers only offer one version of PHP,  as a result, an outdated version of PHP will slow the performance of your website. A shared server can also restrict database features and you are left with no control over software versions. This will also affect site performance.

Another issue is security. Some sites leave security issues which can bring the server down or be blacklisted by Google. Therefore, with all the above information, a good quality host provider is essential if you want an effective website. We recommend a dedicated hosting provider. It will cost you more but you will have better performance and more control. For WordPress users, Siteground, BlueHost and Hostgator are recommended. We run this site on Siteground and we are very happy with them.

KEEP IT SIMPLE AND QUICK

Keep it simple. Do not get tempted into a website with many unnecessary cool features. There is no room for bloat in 2019. We are bombarded with data from every angle on a daily basis. Keeping it simple with a clear message keeps your site lightweight and fresh. Avoid over complicating your website especially on the Home page. Your users will appreciate this as they want the information fast without having to navigate through fancy sliders or cool effects. A simple lightweight site will also load faster for the user. Consider this fact: 40% of polled internet users report abandoning a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Google has also stated that page speed is a ranking factor for websites in search engines. Get rid of unnecessary bloat to speed up your site for the user.

ON PAGE SEO FOR YOUR WEBSITE

How good is your SEO ? SEO is very important for your website as it will help improve your Google rankings and drive traffic to your site. Implementing SEO on your site would be best done by a qualified professional. He/she can insert keywords in page titles, meta descriptions, create SEO friendly URLs, keyword & alt tag your images. You also need an XML Sitemap – The XML (Extensible Markup Language) Sitemap is a text file that is used to detail all URLs on a website. Did you know that 75% people do not scroll beyond page 1? So, if you truly wish your website’s success, a good SEO strategy is a must! It is no doubt worth it to pay for SEO on your site. It is an investment that will pay you back in more traffic and hopefully more sales.

 

Copywriting for the web

QUALITY CONTENT

Is your content on your website too salesy ? Does it shout from the rooftops how great you are ? If so, you need to change it and fast. People don’t care about you, they care about getting their problem solved. A very important ranking factor with Google is high quality content. If you can provide valuable content with strategically placed keywords to educate and solve your potential clients problems then it will motivate your users into action. Users are also more likely to return or enquire about your services etc.

Google says content is king and to provide new blog articles on a regular basis will show Google that your website is alive and offering fresh content. Check out this article by Social Media Today to delve deeper into SEO.  For WordPress users Yoast SEO is a free and paid SEO plugin which in my opinion is essential for SEO on your WordPress site. Check this article from Hostgator about why Blogging is good for SEO.

UPDATE YOUR SITE REGULARLY

This especially true for WordPress users. Throughout this website I repeat many times why updating WordPress and its plugins/themes are critical if you want your website to be taken seriously by Google. By not updating content and software on WordPress regularly, then Google will assume this website is no longer operating. Update your content and software periodically so your website looks fresh and not outdated. Also to update all software frequently will improve security and performance on WordPress sites.

mobile responsiveness is essential for an effective website in 2019

YOUR WEBSITE HAS TO BE RESPONSIVE

This is one of the most important factors for an effective website. Your website has to render well on all devices. In 2018 Mobile traffic was responsible for 52.2 percent of Internet traffic. This means if your website doesn’t scale properly to mobile screens, then you are denying your business access to nearly half ‘the market. Mobile use is growing year on year and your website needs to load quickly and look well on mobile screens and tablets.

USE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Many people just use social media for their marketing and ignore their website. This is not good practice and you are not taking advantage of a major asset that is your website. Many businesses make the mistake of posting directly onto the social media channels without linking their website. Best practice is to use social media as a funnel to your website. By filling your website with good content, Calls to Action (Wikipedia defines it as any device designed to prompt an immediate response or encourage an immediate sale) you can lead potential clients to your site via your social media channels.

Used correctly this is great for SEO and to drive traffic to your site. All roads lead to Rome and your website should be your head office. Your social media would be your sales agents leading the clients back to the showroom. Also on Social media, it is recommended to follow the 80/20 rule to avoid being too salesy. 80% content should be educative for your client and 20% sales promotion. This shows the consumer you place an importance on value driven marketing.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, there are many ways to improve the effectiveness of your website. It is a fantastic asset for business owners to be able to access new markets and win new business. If you are able to implement all the factors above on your website then you are laying a solid foundation for growth and progress in 2019 and beyond.

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